March 19, 2015
Music City USA
Story and Photos by Butch Worrell of One Heart Photo
It was Friday, March 13, a day many would consider unlucky. But the Jerry Garcia Tribute Band proved the opposite. In fact for legendary bass player Bobby Vega it was the luckiest of days, for that day he married Allison. The sun shined bright that day on their wedding and that aura continued on to the Band's show that night. The show was sold out, for the word was out, this band is a must see.
The tribute band is a project of Steve Kimock's to honor Jerry Garcia. Led by Steve with his strong ties to Jerry and whose place in the top guitar players of the world cannot be denied, it also consists of Jeff Chimenti, perhaps the best Grateful Dead family keyboardist ever, Bobby Vega a bass player whose innovative playing has made him a legend in his own time. Dan Lebowitz the ALO frontman and guitarist who carried off the frontman/singer role with professional ease, Bill Vitt legendary Jerry Garcia Band drummer, and John Morgan Kimock already an innovative and quite professional drummer combined efforts to drive the show.. Rudson Shurtliff, Steve’s guitar tech and high sheriff of the Kimock stage, said this of John Morgan: “He is a natural, he played his first show at just 16 in front of 23,000 fans at the Gathering of the Vibes. And he hasn't stopped rocking since.”
The first set, packed with soulful, R&B songs from the Jerry Band years was a rousing success. “The Harder they Come” was a special sing along favorite with Dan leading the audience on.
The set closer “Mystery Train” showed the interplay between Kimock's fiery guitar work and Bobby Vega's “lead” bass work. They pushed the song to the limit, the audience literally going crazy in their dancing response.
Then came the set break and Bobby's bride came onstage with Jennifer Kimock leading a Champagne toast to the newly weds. A beautiful moment that continued to the end of the show with Allison dancing side stage next to Bobby sharing looks of love. The second set continued where the first let off, the band steamrolling along, driven by Bill Vitt and John Morgan's drumming. The “Expressway to your Heart” into “Bertha” particular comes to mind, with Steve's guitar work reaching a peak, driven by Bobby Vega who literally made his bass dance. And Jeff Chimenti's work on “Sugaree” showed why so many consider him the best keyboardist ever to play “Dead”.
And the finale, another sing along, “Don't let go” had fans singing along for days who just could not keep from smiling as the words danced through their heads and their feet moved to the music. A phenomenon your corespondent personally experienced. In all a magical time was experienced on March 13th by the Band and family along with their fans.
“Don't you know that it's true”
Gramercy Theatre- New York 2015-03-13
Second that Emotion
The Harder They Come
High Healed Sneakers
They Love each Other
Expressway to your Heart
Encore Don't Let go>Philly Mambo